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Hal BidlackHal BidlackMay 29, 20186min644

Readers of a certain age will recall that in 1976, then California Governor Ronald Reagan did what many in politics thought was both foolish and disloyal – he ran a campaign for president against the sitting Republican, Gerald Ford. It was a bitter battle, with acrimony and insults all around. Many political thinkers believe that Mr. Reagan’s challenge cost Mr. Ford victory, and put Jimmy Carter in the White House. Mr. Reagan made it there a short four years later, so for him, it worked out, I guess. But I ask that you recall another figure from that time, Pennsylvania Senator Richard Schweiker.


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Joey BunchJoey BunchApril 6, 20183min921

Victor Mitchell won’t be asking “Do You Know Me?” on TV as much starting this week. He doesn’t have to anymore after investing more than a million bucks in TV ads across the state to tout his bid for governor.

The Republican entrepreneur and former state legislator from Douglas County is building up his profile in a crowded race.

The campaign launched a new TV ad this week that goes into his ad buy that amounts to more than $180,000 a week statewide, his campaign tells Colorado Politics.

“I’m the underdog, the outsider businessman,” he tells us. “I’m not like the insiders, Bush’s cousin or Romney’s nephew, that have all the establishment money and separate special committees.

“I have to spend my own money to get better known and tell my story. This new ad, and the one before it, are starting to tell my story. But I’m not taking a cent of special interest money to pay for these ads, not one red cent.”

There are more than a dozen GOP hopefuls in the race, but the contenders in Mitchell’s path are thought to be state Treasurer Walker Stapleton (a cousin to the presidential Bush family), businessman Barry Farah, Attorney General Cynthia Coffman and businessman Doug Robinson.

Mitchell loaned his campaign $3 million at the outset, while other big-name Republicans in the race have the support of big-name donors and outside groups supporting their candidacies.

In the new 30-second ad, Mitchell plays on Coloradans’ natural disinclination against Californians.

“What happens when you put career politicians?” he asks. “Look at California.”

Mitchell said the Golden State has a bad quality of life, high taxes and “mountains of crushing regulations (and) lawless sanctuary cities.”

Who are the career politicians he’s talking about? Stapleton has been state treasurer for eight years, and Coffman has been attorney general for almost four.

Farah has never held a major elected office, thought his wife is a staff member on leave from Americans for Prosperity in Colorado, a politically powerful arm of the conservative Koch brothers network.

Robinson is a retired investment banker, but he is the nephew of Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and GOP presidential nominee. Mitchell, on the other hand, served two years in the state legislature before deciding to focus on his business instead of seeking re-election.

On the Democratic ticket, there are more politicians: U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne (for about two years), former state Treasurer Carey Kennedy and former state Sen. Mike Johnston.